Friday, June 9, 2023

Tour rookie hauls up 3rd, ‘block’ party over despite English ace at Colonial

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Harris English quipped to his caddy that no one was beating him on the par-3 eighth hole at Colonial, which was true when he followed up his birdie with one in the opening round. Hole-in-One Friday, There is only one player ahead of him on the overall leaderboard.

PGA Tour rookie Harry Hall of England shot 12-under 128 to hold the one-man lead through 36 holes. Great save from the sand on the same par 3, for a three-stroke lead over the English. After opening with an 8-under 62, Hall carded four consecutive birdies in the middle of his second round 66.

Hall’s birdie streak ended with a bogey at the par-4 third, his 12th of the day, when he missed the fairway and then two-putted from 9 feet short of the first green.

In the final group of the day, Hall hit his tee shot on No. 8 into the sand in front of the green. Hall failed to get the ball out of the deep bunker on his first attempt, but saved par on the next attempt by seeing it pop out over the edge of the green and roll into the cup.

English’s ace on the 170-yard eighth was part of his bogey-free 66.

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“The hard 9 … hit about 4 or 5 yards from where I was aiming, but it’s a good thing the hole came in the way,” English said. “Just one of those shots where I hit it purely on the flag.”

His third hole-in-one on the PGA Tour was his first since Jim Furyk in 2011 on the No. 8 hole at Colonial.

The Englishman was one stroke ahead of Emiliano Grillo, who shot a best round of 65 to reach 8-under. Adam Schneck (67), Byeong Hun An (66) and Robby Shelton (67) tied for fourth.

Scotty Scheffler, the world No. 1 and colonial runner-up in last year’s playoff, shot a second consecutive round of 67 to finish tied-7th at 6-under 134. Justin Rose, whose 11 PGA Tour wins include five years at Colonial, tied for ninth at 5-under after a bogey-free 66 earlier.

Jordan Spieth, still battling sore left wrist, shot 72 on both days to miss the cut. The number 11 player made three bogeys and a birdie in his last four holes.

Michael Block, the 46-year-old club pro from California who became a sensation for everyday golfers by tying for 15th Sunday at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, finished last in the 120-player Colonial field with a 15-over 155. After his opening 81, he was seven strokes better with a 74 that included back-to-back birdies in the middle of the round.

It was an exhausting period for Block, who hit only 11 of 28 fairways in round two but was still mingling with fans – signing autographs and taking pictures – hours after his final putt before heading home. Afterwards.

Other than the hole-in-one, it was just a steady round for the four-time PGA Tour winner English, who finished third at the Wells Fargo Championship earlier this month. He hit 11 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens.

“When I got into trouble around the tee or the green, I was up and down. Played really well on No. 9,” English said. “I had a lot of 15- or 20-footers and Didn’t make much. … But as long as I keep up that ball-striking and keep giving myself chances, some good things will happen this weekend.

Coming off a hole-in-one, English hit the right rough on the No. 9 and then drove into a greenside bunker before blasting to 6 feet and making a par-saving putt. His only birdie on the back nine was the 12th, when he made a 17-foot birdie from the fringe.

The 30-year-old Grillo from Argentina was leading the round before birdieing a greenside bunker on the 389-yard 10th. It was the first of five backside birdies, including long putts on both par 3s – from 19 feet at No. 13, and almost 38 feet at the 16th – before a 7-foot approach at No. 18.

“It’s a very different club from the tee. Putting on fair, putting on the green. I think that’s my strong part of the game,” Grillo said. “I was lucky to get some good putts on the back nine. Very happy to finish with a great shot on 18 and a good putt.”

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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